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Apartment developer under the gun to revise site plan on US 192

Roundstone Development's goal is to build affordable housing that doesn't look like affordable housing.
Roundstone Development's goal is to build affordable housing that doesn't look like affordable housing.

Roundstone Development has a week to completely rework its site plan for a proposed 80-unit apartment complex on US 192 near the Florida Turnpike or the $14 million deal could be dead.

That's because the Texas-based developer, which specializes in using federal tax credits to build affordable housing, must submit its application to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation by Oct. 15. The state agency approves such projects on a competitive basis.

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Developer Bob Colvard said the company cleared the first hurdle by securing a $20,000 loan commitment from the county. But Osceola County planners said they wouldn't approve the site plan without substantial changes.

Roundstone has a contract on the seven-acre site on US 192 just north of Simpson Road. The original site plan called for five two-story apartment buildings plus a clubhouse, but the property doesn't have enough buildable acreage to accommodate such a large footprint.

"Now we have to go taller and do fewer buildings," Colvard said. "We got the survey done after the fact. We knew there were drainage issues, but not to this extent. Now we have to move all the buildings to the east side of the property."

After the preapplication meeting Wednesday, Colvard immediately called his team from Cross Architects to discuss a strategy. Since the corridor doesn't have height restrictions, Roundstone could build two 5-story apartment towers, if need be. "We have a great architecture firm," Colvard said. "They'll work all night if they have to. If it's doable, they'll make it happen."

The complex would be called The Reserve at Malibu Point. Colvard said the changes might increase the construction and design budget by about $500,000, but that's not enough to jeopardize the project.

Roundstone has built communities in Pinellas Park and Delray Beach, but this would be the developer's first venture in Osceola County. Colvard said the company's goal is create affordable housing that that doesn't look like affordable housing. That means exterior upgrades such as stone facades and gated entries. Clubhouses are designed with high-end finishes, such as wood-beam ceilings, stone flooring and fireplaces.

"We're proud of what we do – we do quality work," he said.

If the project lands the tax credit award, construction would likely start in fall of 2016, Colvard said.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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